News and History from the Road Runners Club of America
News and History from the Road Runners Club of America
Women's Running History - Patti Catalano Dillon
Patti grew up in Quincy, MA, the eldest of nine children. Her father was second-generation Irish from Dorchester and an all-Navy boxer. Her mother, a Micmac Indian. As a young adult, she worked as a nurse's aid at Quincy City Hospital, filling her non-working hours with beer and kitty whist. Unhappy, overweight, and smoking two packs of Lucky Strikes a day, Patti was stuck. It didn't take her long to realize that at twenty three years old, she was stuck in a pit. She found a book by Dr. Ken Cooper called Aerobics. In this book, Cooper said that there were 3500 calories in a pound, and jogging burned 700 calories an hour. Doing some fast math in her kitchen, Patti deduced that by the end of the week, she would lose twenty pounds. This, she decided, would be the fastest way to be happy. She ran seven laps around the Quincy Cemetery, which was nearly a seven mile run. And she didn't lose twenty pounds by the end of the week—in fact, she could barely walk for two weeks afterwards. But as soon as she could run, she went out and did it again. This led to an astonishing career in athletics that helped pioneer women's marathoning. With no background in highschool track or college running, she went on to set a world record in the 5 mile (25:48). She set the American record for the 10k four times, ending with a 32:08. Patti was the first American woman to go under 33 minutes in the 10k, and the first American woman to break 50 minutes in the 15k (49:42). She set a world record in the 20k, 30k, and half marathon, and won the Newport marathon 5 times, setting a course record each time. She also won the Honolulu marathon 4 times, also setting a course record each time. Patti placed 2nd in the Boston marathon three times, and also placed 2nd in the NYC marathon. She was one of the first American women to sign a pro-contract with Nike. In 52 weeks, she ran 48 races, winning 44 of them.
Women's Running History Series - Lorraine Moller
Moller's first international competition was the 1974 British Commonwealth Games at Christchurch, where she finished fifth in the 800 m. Her time of 2:03.63 was her lifetime best and is still the fastest ever by a New Zealand junior (under 20) woman.Although Moller ran her first marathon in 1979, there were no sanctioned marathons for females at an international athletics competition until 1984. She ran her first marathon on 23 June 1979, winning Grandma's Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota in 2:37:37. She then won her next 7 marathons. She was a triple winner of the Osaka Ladies Marathon, and in 1984 won the Boston Marathon.All of Moller's four appearances at the Olympic Games were in the marathon. She won the Bronze medal in 1992 running 2:33:59In the 1993 New Year Honours, Moller was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire, for services to athletics.In 2012 she was inducted into the Boulder (Colorado) Sports Hall of Fame. She has worked with the Lydiard Foundation and the Master Plan training system to share the lessons of running coach Arthur Lydiard.
Women's Running History Series - Julia Chase-Brand
Julia Chase-Brand's first race was the New England championship in the 880-yard run, held in July 1960, which she won. However, she had to list her hometown as being in Rhode Island because women from Connecticut were not allowed to compete.When she tried to run in the Manchester Road Race in Connecticut in 1960, which women were not allowed to run at that time, race officials told her that if she ran she would be banned from racing for life. She lobbied to be allowed to race for a year, but without success. In 1961 she did run the race, without permission, but then racing's governing body vowed to ban her from all competition unless she agreed to stay out of "men's" road races. She agreed to stay out. In 2011, at age 69, Julia returned to run the Manchester Road Race again, on the 50th anniversary of her historic run. She was named a Hero of Running by Runner's World in 2012She studied zoology at Smith College. She also helped produce a study about how orangutans and gorillas unconsciously stick out their tongues in matters of social aversion, just as people do. At the age of 53 in 1996, she became the oldest person to obtain a degree in medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University. She practiced child psychiatry and contributed the section Effects of Maternal Postpartum Depression on the Infant and Older Siblings to the book Perinatal and postpartum mood disorders: perspectives and treatment guide .
Women's Running History Series - Ann Trason
Ann Trason (born August 30, 1960) is an American ultramarathon runner from Auburn, California. She has broken twenty world records during her career. Trason's ultra career began when she entered the 1985 American River 50 Miler at age 24 and both won and set a course record. She returned 8 years later and dropped her time by an hour to establish the 6:09 female course record that still stands.Trason did not finish her first two times trying to run the Western States 100; in 1987 she dropped out due to knee problems and in 1988, near the finish line, from dehydration. She finished and won it in 1989. She has won Western States 14 times in all, most recently in 2003. She held the women's division course record for 18 years (17:37:51, set in 1994) until it was broken by Ellie Greenwood in 2012.
Women's Running History Series - Bobbi Gibb
Roberta Louise "Bobbi" Gibb (born November 2, 1942 in Cambridge, Massachusetts) is the first woman to have run the entire Boston Marathon (1966). She is recognized by the Boston Athletic Association as the pre-sanctioned era women’s winner in 1966, 1967, and 1968. At the Boston Marathon, the pre-sanctioned era comprised the years from 1966 through 1971, when women, who were banned from entering the Men's Division Race because of their gender, ran and finished the race. In 1996 the B.A.A. retroactively recognized as champions the women who finished first in the Pioneer Women's Division Marathon for the years 1966–1971.Gibb’s run in 1966 challenged prevalent prejudices and misconceptions about women's athletic capabilities. In 1967, she finished nearly an hour ahead of Kathrine Switzer, who had obtained an invalid number in the Men's Division Race, which threatened the accreditation of the race and angered officials, who tried to remove the number. In 1968 Gibb finished first among five women that ran the marathon unregistered. It was not until late 1971, pursuant to a petition to the Amateur Athletic Union by Nina Kuscsik, that the AAU changed its rules and began to sanction women's division marathons. Kuscsik won the initial AAU-sanctioned women's division race at Boston in 1972.
Women's Running History Series - Cheryl Treworgy
Cheryl Bridges, now Cheryl Treworgy, is an American former long-distance runner who once held the American and world record in the marathon, racing in the 1960s and 1970s. Cheryl was born December 25, 1947 in Indiana. She began her running career as a sophomore at North Central High School in Indianapolis. In her senior year in high school, she competed in the national cross-country championships.In 1966, she became the first female athlete in the U.S. to receive an athletic scholarship to a public university — Indiana State University. She graduated in three years with a degree in physical education.In 1969, she finished fourth in the World Cross Country Championships in Scotland. She set the U.S. records in the 3 mile and 5,000 meter distances. In 1971, she finished 3rd in the U.S. cross country championship.On December 7, 1971, Bridges ran her first marathon, finishing the Culver City Marathon in a world record time of 2:49:40.Her daughter Shalane Flanagan won the silver medal, set an American record in the 2008 Summer Olympics Beijing in the 10,000 m and won the New York City marathon on November 5, 2017. The New York win was the first for an American woman since 1977.
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Yes, the sound quality is not great, but the fantastic stories more than make up for that small fault. Any woman who enjoys being an athlete today needs to listen to these strong, witty, generous women’s stories—we stand on their shoulders!
Amy Yoder Begley’s interviews are such a gift! No, they weren’t recorded to be podcast episodes and you have to give up any expectations you might have about sound quality and editing, but there’s some great information in there, if you make the investment in listening.